UFC 155 Opening Odds: Middleweights Yushin Okami (-170) vs. Alan Belcher (+140)

Alan Belcher vs. Yushin OkamiUFC 155: December 29, 2012 Las Vegas, Nevada UFC Middleweight Contender Yushin Okami (-170) Profile: The last person to technically ‘”defeat” UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Yushin Okami (26-7) has had a masterful run in the UFC, going 10-2 over the last five years, with big wins over such names as Alan Belcher, Mike Swick, Mark Munoz, Nate Marquardt and the late Evan Tanner to name a few. Okami has always been hovering around the top of the middleweight division, and last year he finally got his shot to fight for the title at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro against champion Anderson Silva. However, Silva made quick work of Okami, defeating him via TKO in the second round. Okami looked to bounce back in his home country of Japan against rising middleweight Tim Boetsch at UFC 144, and after two dominant rounds in his favor, he was caught by a barrage of fists and lost by TKO in the third. He ended the first two-fight losing streak of his career with a KO of Buddy Roberts at UFC 150 and will now look to beat Belcher for the second time before the end of the year at UFC 155. UFC Middleweight Contender Alan Belcher (+140) Profile: Alan Belcher (18-6) is a Duke Roufus-trained middleweight who has had a rebirth of sorts, as it was just over two years ago when he began to lose vision in his right eye, threatening his fighting career in the process. After emergency surgery, the 28-year-old Belcher made nothing less than a miraculous recovery and was back in training a year later for his return UFC fight with Jason MacDonald, who suffered from a barrage of punches before verbally submitting at UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger. Belcher’s next opponent at UFC on FOX 3 was the fearsome ground specialist and fellow middleweight contender Rousimar Palhares, who was also handled with impressive ease via TKO in the first round. Belcher was orginally supposed to face Vitor Belfort at UFC 153, but Belfort was pulled from that bout to fight Jon Jones at UFC 152. That extra time off has allowed him to recover from a spinal fracture in anticipation of the rematch with Okami. Opening UFC 155 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Okami a slight -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Belcher opened as a +140 underdog (bet $100 to win $140) according to the MMA odds. These are two Top 15 middleweights in the MMAOB MMA Fighter Rankings, and it will be interesting to see how Belcher performs following his injury. He was extremely impressive in his win over Palhares and had earned a step up in competition, whether his opponent was Belfort or Okami. The rematch makes sense considering the two fighters have not met since Okami’s UFC debut more than six years ago. The first meeting ended with a unanimous decision in favor of Okami, and both he and Belcher have come a long way since then. Following a 3-3 start in the UFC, Belcher has won six of his past seven, including four straight. His health is a bit of a question mark, especially since he has fought just once since last September and ended his last bout with a first-round TKO. Okami has fought three times since last August, with all three ending with a TKO, including two losses. He would appear to have an edge if he can avoid a stoppage considering 12 of his wins have gone to the judge compared to only two for Belcher.

Written by MMA OddsBreaker

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